For the first three and a half innings of the game last night, the Pirates looked as if they were going to put together a pretty solid performance, and walk out of Kansas with a split in the short two game series. Even after Salvador Perez roped a Wil Crowe breaking ball, that hung in the zone, over the left field fence, it didn’t feel like Pittsburgh was overmatched on this given night; as they still held on to a slim 4-3 lead. Then came the bottom of the fifth; where Crowe couldn’t hit the spots he was earlier in the game, the bases found themselves loaded because of it and Andrew Benintendi flipped the game to a 8-4 Royals lead with one crack of the bat.
At this point it seemed like the game could be over, but the Bucs kept Battling; getting a run back on an Adam Frazier bloop double that fell to the ground off the body of the the sliding third baseman, Kelvin Gutierrez, and eventually loading the bases themselves for Bryan Reynolds-who had come through with a bases loaded single earlier in the contest. However, down in the count, Reynolds thought about offering to a ball in the dirt, slowly backed out of the box while allowing Kevin Newman to rush home to score and prepared for the next pitch of his at bat; or so it would appear. Home plate umpire Dan Bellino on the other hand saw something completely different, calling Reynold’s out for interference as Perez tried to make the play at home; but actually looked to be tagging Reynold’s on a dropped strike three, which it wasn’t. Either way the rally was essentially snuffed out by this ending the inning.
The Royals would ultimately tag on a couple more on the Pirates bullpen, and Pittsburgh wouldn’t put up much more of a fight; losing to Kansas City 10 to 5.
News and Notes
- Adam Frazier is the league leader in hits (71) and doubles (19), all while batting .335 with a 144 wRC+.
- After somewhat stifling the Royals through 3 innings, on two hits and while striking out three, Wil Crowe imploded over the next inning pitched; finishing with a line of eight earned runs allowed on eight hits and two walks, which raised his ERA on the season to 7.26. It could be a realistic possibility that Crowe could be optioned to AAA in the upcoming moves, with several players working their way back from the IL.
- The Pirates tallied 10 hits on the night and were assisted by 2 errors from the Royals, but still couldn’t manage more than 5 runs, as they were 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
- The bottom of the order hit for the Pirates as Wilmer Difo, Kevin Newman and Michael Perez all went went 2 for 4. On most nights that would equal a win for Pittsburgh; especially with Frazier and Reynolds continuing to supply some offense.
- Aside from sweeping the Saturday doubleheader against the Rockies, the Pirates have dropped 9 of their last 11 games.
Today is an off day, as the Pirates travel back to PNC before taking on the Miami Marlins in a 4 game weekend series.
Tyler Anderson (3-5, 4.63 ERA) is scheduled to face off against the dreaded TBD for the Marlins at 7:05 PM EST on AT&T SportsNet.